Welcome to Suomikoulu DC, the Finnish school of Washington DC
Suomikoulu DC is part of the worldwide Suomi-koulu organization, which is working to preserve Finnish culture and language among young people of Finnish origin. The Suomi-koulu organization’s work is supported by the Finnish government. Our primary goal is to support parents in their efforts to transfer Finnish language and heritage to their children. We focus on teaching children to understand and speak Finnish. Reading and writing are taught when children are ready. Our school also offers children various experiences related to Finnish culture, such as art and crafts. Feel free to contact us if you’re interested in learning more. Thank you for visiting!
P.S. We use English when communicating administrative matters since we have some parents who are not fluent in Finnish. However, at school we aim to use only Finnish with the children.
P.S. Osaamme suomea erinomaisesti, vaikka internetsivumme ovatkin englanniksi. Englanti on koulumme virallinen viestintäkieli, jotta voimme palvella myös suomea taitamattomia perheitä. Koulutiloissa puhumme pelkkää suomea.
Spring has finally arrived and so has our new website. Its been a busy year, and we’ve been hard at work making a new website to showcase all… Read more “New Website!”
It’s that time of year again…Sadly, the 2016-2017 school year is coming to an end, but we want to thank everyone who contributed to another successful term.… Read more “End of Year Celebration”
Suomikoulu held its annual sports day on May 6th, which included lots of food, games and Finnish prizes. Despite the uncooperative weather, several families came out to… Read more “Sports Day”
Classes will be held every other Saturday from 10 am to 1 pm; see calendar for exact dates. Students will start with an hour and a half of structured language instruction and then have a sack lunch break in the classrooms with their teachers. After lunch there will be an hour of electives, such as textiles, games or seasonal/holiday activities, which will further introduce students to Finnish culture and traditions. We believe that language instruction as well as cultural and craft programs will increase the children’s, and their parents’, understanding of and appreciation for Finnish language and culture.
Pikkuoravat (3-4 yrs)
Little Squirrels are our youngest students. We believe that young children learn best through play. Little Squirrels focus on spoken Finnish in a stimulating and nurturing atmosphere. Our various activities address multiple aspects of learning, including intellectual, physical, and social growth.
- Book used: Pikku Treenit: Puuhaa ja pulinaa (Tammi)
Isot Oravat (5 yrs)
Big Squirrels class consists of students who are about five years old and who study Finnish through games, rhymes, songs, stories, and crafts. We also learn Finnish letters and letter sounds, but the main focus is on learning fluent spoken Finnish and enriching the students’ vocabulary.
- Book used: Pikkumetsän esiopetus (WSOY)
The Foxes class consists of students who are six to seven years old and who study Finnish through games, rhymes, songs, stories, and crafts. We learn the Finnish alphabet and letter sounds forming syllables and short words. The main focus is on spoken language, but we practice beginner level reading and writing skills as well.
- Book used: Pikkumetsän aapinen ja harjoituskirja (WSOY)
Siilit (8-9 yrs)
Hedgehogs are 8 to 9 year olds who already know the basics of reading and writing in Finnish. Even though the approach is more academic than with the younger students, there is also room in the curriculum for role play, games, stories and crafts. We emphasize fluent spoken Finnish and enriching the students’ vocabulary on various areas.
- Book used: Pikkumetsän lukukirja ja harjoituskirja (WSOY)
Karhut (8-12 yrs)
Many children in the current Bears group were born in Finland and have lived there. They all are older children who have mastered the basics of spoken Finnish and are also able to read in Finnish fluently. In this class, the emphasis is on broadening vocabulary in different areas, such as biology. We also work on accuracy of written text.
- Book used: Uusi Salainen kerho (WSOY)
Ilvekset (young beginners)
Younger children with little or no previous knowledge of Finnish form our Bob cats group. In the beginning, we concentrate on sounds, stress and intonation, and the Finnish alphabet. After that, we move on to some key vocabulary and phrases, which will be reinforced through different playful exercises.
- Book used: Avainsanoja S2 (Tammi)
Porot (older beginners)
Reindeers are children from ages 9 to 13 with little or no previous knowledge of Finnish. In the beginning, we work on sounds, stress and intonation and the Finnish alphabet. From there we move into more communicative exercises where children practice telling about themselves and answering basic questions. The goal is to enable the children to conduct short conversations in Finnish.
- Book used: Eka Suomi (Opetushallitus)